Heating system danger exposed
Faulty heat transfer systems have set fire to dozens of New Zealand homes and the recall message is not getting through, the New Zealand Fire Service says.
The Weiss heat transfer systems, sold prior to May 2012, were recalled last month after the Fire Service noticed the trend.
‘‘There haven’t been any injuries to date which we consider to be quite fortunate but I think it’s just a matter of time to be honest,’’ fire risk manager Ian Duncan says.
Regulatory body Energy Safety also issued a prohibition notice banning the use of the Weiss appliances, which operate in ceiling spaces and move warm air through ducts to heat rooms.
But the Fire Service is still being called to fires caused by the systems and has found victims have no idea about the recall.
There have been 24 fires across the country, including two on the North Shore.
Some of the victims had been lucky to detect the fires early because smoke alarms aren’t as effective at detecting ceiling fires, national manager of fire investigation and arson reduction Peter Wilding says.
‘‘If you have a smoke detector on your house, it is on the ceiling,’’ he says.
‘‘But it is underneath, on the wrong side, so you don’t know what is happening in the ceiling.
‘‘So we have had a number of fires where there has been reasonably significant involvement up in the roof space before they have known about it down below.’’
The affected Weiss Heat Transfer Unit models are FV602, FV603, FV652, and FV653. They were sold at Mitre 10 stores and other retailers before May 2012.
Undetected: Fire investigation and arson reduction manager Peter Wilding says smoke alarms struggle to detect ceiling fires.